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2013

Triangle Restaurant Chick-Steaks

From: Jim 
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 5:54 PM
To: phaedrus@hungrybrowser.com 
Subject: Recipe search

I would like to find a sandwich recipe. The sandwich was the chiksteak and was a feature at the Triangle Restaurant in Meridian, Ms. 
in the 1960's. A lady by the name of Mrs. Phelps and her husband owned the Triangle and I was told had a patent on the recipie.
I think she closed the restaurant in the early 70's. There are some recipies floating around but we have made them and it's not her 
sandwich. There was a copy cat at another restaurant called the Doublegood. That restaurant was the Lamp Post also in Meridian.  
The Chiksteak may be my all time favorite sandwich. Use to eat one with a Sundrop and her French fries. Knowone has a sandwich this good. 
Most all Meridianite baby boomers know how good it was.  I was told it was made with beef not chicken but that you could use other types 
of meat. Would love some help finding it!! 
Thank You, Jim 

Hi Jim,

I lived in Mississippi for many years, but I never had a chick steak. Meridian was one place in the state where I never stomped much ground.

I found lots of stuff about the Triangle Restaurant and chic steaks – chik steaks – chick steaks. I found lots of speculation on various message boards about the ingredients, and a few recipes. You said you'd tried some recipes that weren't right - you should always tell me which recipes you've already tried so I won't send you the same ones.

First though, let’s get our ducks in a row: A couple of people said the recipe was patented, and another said the name of the sandwich was copyrighted. I think that what is meant is that the name “chick-steak” (however it’s spelled) was trademarked. Recipes aren’t patented. Even Colonel Sanders KFC chicken recipe isn’t patented. Keeping a recipe secret is the only way to protect it from being copied. Sandwich names aren’t exactly copyrighted, either - they are registered as a “trademark”. “Kentucky Fried Chicken” is a trademark. Legally, a trademark is similar to a copyright, but let’s be accurate.

There is a very good article about the history of the Triangle restaurant and the “chick-steak” here, with a photo of the restaurant:
Meridian Stuff

Briefly, the restaurant was started by Glen and Lillian Phipps. They opened their first place in 1931, and it fared poorly. They moved closer to the downtown area next to the bus station, and things improved, but not enough to suit Glen. He decided to create a new sandwich. He took a piece of pork loin, battered it, deep fried it, and put it in a bun with ketchup and dill pickle. His wife, Lillian, christened it a “chick-steak” because it was battered and fried like fried chicken. The article says that the sandwich “began as a pork tenderloin, but was later made primarily of baby beef.”

The article also says that Glen sold rights to the sandwich to two restaurants on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but that it never became as popular down there. Glen passed away in 1958, and Lillian kept the Triangle going until 1969 when she closed it down and retired. Lamar Majors, who apparently worked for Glen at one time, opened the Lamp Post and Ludies, which sold a similar sandwich called the “doublegood.”

Now, as to the sandwich itself: Nobody has the actual recipe except Glen & Lillian’s descendants, possibly Lamar Majors’ descendants, and possibly someone who was connected with those two Gulf Coast restaurants that Glen sold rights to. As far as I could determine, the recipehas never been published or shared anywhere. There is, however, lots of speculation on the web about it. Since I never tasted a chick-steak, I can’t say who might be closest.

This site says it was just a “chicken fried steak” on a bun, and gives a recipe for chicken fried steak:
JoeB -TalleyHo
Chicken fried steak has long been a favored dish in the South, but I don’t think the chick-steak recipe is quite that simple, although a pounded steak is a possibility.

This message board post says that the meat was a pounded veal steak, and that the batter was made with potato flour. The poster gives a brief recipe:
ElFrito
The key is "potato flour". Dip pounded(lightly) veal, dip in milk then in the flour, back to the milk and once again in the potato flour. Deep fry until golden brown, drain, put a piece of real American cheese on a fresh bun.
Maybe. This sounds like a possibility. Although we think of veal as expensive nowadays, back in the 1930s it was less expensive than beef. "Baby beef" might be veal. Potato flour batter would certainly be different.

Two more sites, the Meridian High Wildcats alumni board and “Aunt Millie’s Recipes”, say that “chick-steaks” were just chicken fried ground beef patties. See the recipes below.

Jim, if you really want to duplicate the “chick steak” sandwich, take all this information and experiment.

First, from your own memory, was the meat a piece of pounded meat, or was it ground meat? If pounded meat, try the “chicken fried steak” recipe and the pounded veal steak recipe battered with potato flour. If this is close, but the batter’s not quite right, I’d also try regular flour, and then a mixture of regular flour and potato flour.

If the chick-steak was ground meat, try battered ground beef, like one of the below recipes. Try battered ground veal. Try a mixture of ground beef and ground veal. Try ground beef with a little ground pork mixed in. The article above says these started out as pork tenderloin, but are changed to mostly "baby beef". "I don't know how accurate that article is, but "baby beef" sounds to me like it might be veal. If they started out as pork tenderloin, maybe Glen switched to veal but kept some pork in them - try a mixture of ground veal and ground pork. Try regular flour. Try potato flour. Try a mixture of regular flour and potato flour. Let me know if you hit the right combination and what it is. Should be fun experimenting with this, if you don’t put on too many pounds....

If none of these gives the correct result, then the key must be in how the meat was seasoned. If so, then I’m afraid there’s no joy unless one of those people I listed above as having the actual recipe decides to save “chick steaks” from certain extinction and sends us the recipe. In a case like this, it would be a tribute to Glen and Lillian and perhaps Lamar for someone to release the real recipe before it’s lost forever. Many times, people sit on recipes like this, thinking that maybe, someday, they’ll open a restaurant and use the recipe. Usually doesn’t happen and the recipe ends up lost and the dish forgotten. No joy in that, for anyone.

Phaed

Meridian High Wildcats

Triangle Café Chik Steak

1/2 pound good quality ground beef
2 tablespoons water
* salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup self-rising flour
* peanut oil for frying

Mix beef, salt, pepper, and water and form into 4 patties. Beat well one egg and 1/4 cup milk. 
Dip patties in milk, then in flour, then dip in milk mixture again. Fry in really hot oil, 
deep enough to cover patties. Serve with lettuce and tomato on bun that has been buttered and 
browned on the grill. Serves 4.

Aunt Millie's Recipes

Chic Steaks

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. hamburger meat
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons water
Mix in a bowl. Make 6 balls. Pat these with Wesson oil.
Batter:
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Beat well. Dip patties in batter, and roll in flour. Repeat twice. Fry in deep fat until brown. 
Serve with melted cheese over hamburger buns.
===========================================================

Dear Phaed, Thank you so much for your research and your response!! If I am fortunate enough to find the actual recipe 
or in the process of experiment can get close to what I remembered as the Chik Steak I will forward it to you. 
Again, I thank you for your efforts. Jim
===========================================================
11/14/2013

Good afternoon.  I ran across your website as I am still looking for the real chik-steak recipe.  
Millie Majors, Lamar Majors' daughter, has the recipe and steadfastly refuses to divulge the recipe's secrets.  
Says she promised her father that she would NEVER give it away.  We've all tried to convince her differently but she refuses.

I agree with you that it would be a tribute to the Phelps' and the popularity of the sandwich.  It truly was a classic.  
And, you are right.  If the recipe doesn't get passed along, it would be a travesty to all.

Thanks.

A., a longtime Meridian native


Pig's Knuckles & Rice

-----Original Message----- 
From: Joshua 
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2012 6:50 AM
To: phaedrus@hungrybrowser.com
Subject: Pig Knuckle and Rice

Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

I've just come across your recipe website in the search for a recipe
mentioned in the song "Pig's Knuckle and Rice" as sung by the Bermudan
Sidney Bean. I say "recipe", but it is only referred to as "Pig's
Knuckle and Rice". Wanting to know what this involves as it seems to be
able to solve all the problems encountered in the Caribbean, if the song
is to be believed, I have attempted to find a recipe to cook it. All
I've found seem to be Teutonice or Slavonice.

Many thanks,

Joshua

Hello Joshua,

If it's the same (Calypso) song, "Pig's Knuckles and Rice" was first released by Betty Ann Grove in 1957.

There's a mention of them here:
NY Times

The German dish of Pig's Knuckles & Sauerkraut" is by far the best known dish with pig's knuckles, but they're popular in Asian cuisines, too. Pig's knuckles are certainly eaten in Creole and Caribbean cuisine, but I didn't find a specific "Pig's Knuckles and Rice" dish. I'd speculate that they're cooked separately and just served over rice. They're also used like jowls and feet, added to cooking peas and beans and greens to give flavor.

These Caribbean dishes have pig's knuckles with rice and peas like Hoppin' John, which is a popular way to eat them. Pig's knuckles are also cooked in red beans & rice sometimes.

Hoppin' John with Pig's Knuckles

Peas and Rice with Pig's Knuckles

Here's a Caribbean soup with them: Red Pea Soup

Phaed


Dear Uncle Phaedrus,

Fantastic! Exactly what I was after. I assumed it must be a poor man's 
dish of some sort of stew with rice, but the exact ingredients wouldn't 
have made such a good song! Those links are just what I was looking for. 
Now to stop fights through cooking...

Yours,

JT

Crab Stuffed Shells

-----Original Message----- 
From: Sandra Gardner
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 3:04 AM
To: phaedrus@hungrybrowser.com
Subject: Looking for recipe

My name is Sandra Gardner.  I am looking for a recipe for a dish that was 
served in the early 80's as a "nice" party buffet dish.  It was often 
referred to as Crab Stuffed Shells.  It was made in a 9 x 13 pan using giant 
pasta shells.  They were stuffed with a seafood (mostly crab) mixture in a 
some sort of creamy white sauce which had havarti cheese in the sauce or 
sprinkled over the top as it baked (or both?).  Several hostesses offered to 
give me the recipe, but it never seemed to arrive.

I have done internet searches several times, but none has listed the combo 
of stuffed giant pasta/havarti cheese/and seafood all in one recipe.  The 
first time I had the recipe was in St.Louis, MO at a Christmas party held by 
my husband's regional sales director.  He and his wife have both since 
passed away and no one seems to remember the recipe.

I hope this is enough to go on and please feel free to contact me if you 
need any other memories the I might be able to come up with.

Thank you,
Sandy 

Hello Sandy,

There are rather a lot of recipes similar to this. Most call for another kind of cheese, such as cream cheese or cheddar. Many have a sauce with some sort of tomato. The recipe below is the only one that I found that had havarti and a white(possibly) sauce.

Phaed

Sunken  Treasure  Shells

1/2 (12 oz.) pkg. jumbo pasta shells
6 oz. crabmeat or imitation crab
6 oz. pkg. sm. frozen, cooked shrimp
4 oz. creamy Havarti cheese, cubed
1 tsp. dill weed

Sauce:
3 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. flour
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/4 c. water
Salt and pepper to taste

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x12 inch glass baking pan.  Cook 
shells according to package directions.  In a medium bowl, combine crab, 
shrimp, cheese and dill.  Stuff into shells and place open side up in baking 
dish.  Prepare sauce:  Melt butter and saute garlic, onions, parsley and 
basil until tender.  Reduce heat to low.  Sprinkle in flour, stir.  Slowly 
add sherry and water, stir as sauce thickens.  Add salt and pepper.  Pour 
over shells.  Bake for 30 minutes. 
===============================================

I think that you have hit it on the head!!!!!  All I kept finding were the more 
complex ones and the one I was looking for was fairly straightforward as to 
ingredients and no tomatoes.  This is terrific and a wonderful surprise to add 
to my Christmas buffet.  Thank you so much and hoping that you have a wonderful 
holiday season.

Sandy  

Morrison's Caramel Pie

From: Deborah 
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 3:43 PM
To: phaedrus@hungrybrowser.com 
Subject: Morrison's Cafeteria Pie Recipe

Hi - I did check your list of recipes.    

My boyfriend worked at the Morrison's Cafeteria located at the corner of Park Avenue and Mendenhall (Eastgate Shopping Center) in Memphis, TN.  
This was probably between the years of 71-72.  It is no longer there.

While picking up my boyfriend at this cafeteria, I tried a caramel or chocolate caramel pie that this location was serving.  
It was a brand new recipe they began making.  My boyfriend and I quit dating before November 1972, so I know it was before then.

I didn't think about the recipe until years later when I began baking a lot myself.

Sorry, I have so little information to provide you.

Deborah 

Hi Deborah,

There is no caramel pie in the older Morrison’s recipe manual that I have. I asked a former Morrison’s manager who has a more recent copy of the manual, and it’s not in his copy, either. He says that sometimes individual managers put items on the menu on their own and that’s probably the case with the caramel pie at the Memphis store. If so, only someone that worked in the kitchen at that particular location would be likely to have the recipe.

I’ll post this request.

Phaed


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